Cue the soon-to-be Drake classic song (In My Feelings) about wanting, needing and being down with a woman named Keke because Keke Palmer is to be loved.
The vivacious actress, singer, producer and talk show hostess wowed the crowds last night on the red carpet of the TIME 100 Next gala, where she was honored along with other rising stars who are shaping the future of various industries, including entertainment, sports and health.
The age-old periodical has breathed new life into its iconic TIME 100 list with a new recognition of folks, who may not be as well revered as previous listees like Bill Clinton, George Clooney, LeBron James and dare I say… Kanye West, respectively.
But they’re about to be. Hence, the distinction of being next.
The Akeelah and the Bee star made the “next,” list alongside late-night-television personalities Desus and Mero, history-making rap idol Lil Nas X, NBA player Zion Williamson, tennis star Coco Gauff, and singer Bad Bunny, among others.
“When we first published our TIME 100 list of the world’s most influential people 15 years ago, it was dominated by individuals who rose through traditional power structures,” Time Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal said. “What has been striking about more recent editions is the growing number of individuals who did not need an establishment to command international attention. Time has always been a barometer of influence — and the nature of influence is changing.”
For each member of the list, the magazine selected a guest contributor to write about their accomplishments.
Tennis legend Billie Jean King wrote about Gauff, while Billy Ray Cyrus was asked to extol the greatness of his hit-making “Old Town Road” collaborator Lil Nas X—who graced the cover of Time in July as he rode the Billboard Hot 100 for a record 19 weeks.
For the 26-year-old, Harvey, Ill., native, her GMA3 co-host Michael Strahan did the honors of heralding her.
“She stands by what she believes and never compromises her values,” the former NFL Hall of Famer wrote about Palmer, who has had a successful career in television, film, music and even Broadway.
“I am so impressed with how level-headed she is, especially for someone her age who has been in this business as long as she has,” he said.